It’s been on my heart for a while now. As a prophet on the Walls of Zion, I have felt this disturbance coming for some time. Like the sound of a low rumble. Not quite distinguishable – but out there in the distance, in the dark of the night. For in the dark it has been born. And its singular purpose is to bring error and divination into the Church. Your church.
It has a catchy title in modern church settings. It makes for a great hashtag. It’s called “Culture of Honour” – and it’s going to hurt your church!
I tried to trace where this all started and to the best of my knowledge it came to the fore of evangelical culture from a book of the same title. I’ve read the book. I’ve read Scripture. They don’t tally.
There is an authentic culture of honour that does exist! It is one that honours God. Above all. Above everything.
The authentic version of a Culture of Honour is a culture wherein honour and esteem is actually synonymous with humility and self-disregard!
Jesus taught us this quite clearly in John 18 when some of the disciples came to him and asked him who is the greatest or most venerated (honoured) in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus responded by calling a little child to sit with him while they listened intently to what was about to become an object lesson.
Jesus then explained that true greatness and esteem in the Kingdom paradigm is cultivated through humility and servanthood.
We’ve missed this somehow!
Maybe we’ve missed it because satan has infiltrated the church with this “culture of honour” hype. Maybe we’ve missed it because the modernistic adaptations of Jesus’ teachings appeal more to our egotistical natures than does truth and light?
Whatever the reason, it’s time we fixed it by exposing the counterfeit to the authentic!
I’ve long held the view (which I learned from the writings of Derek Prince) that you don’t need to expose satan! All you have to do is hold up the authentic and soon enough satan’s counterfeit will be exposed up for what it is: a cheap imitation that cannot compete with the power of the Living God.
Roughly translated that simply means – let the Light shine and the darkness will fade away! And that light is the Word of God.
What is Honour in the Kingdom?
We are told to honour our father and mother. A scriptural injunction with an associated promise of long life for those who do. I believe this extends to those who “father and mother” us in the Kingdom as well. (Exo 20:12)
We are told to honour those in authority over us in terms of natural order and leadership. (Rom 13:1-7) In this context, verse 7 says that you should:-
“Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honour, then honour.”(Notice that this verse makes a distinction between respect and honour)
We are told to honour those in spiritual leadership of us. This includes the men and women who labour in the Body of Christ (called the Church) to bring us to maturity by exercising their calling and function within the Body to bring the Saints to maturity through discipleship and instruction.
Honour in scriptural terms means to show proper reverence and almost always holds the connotation (derived from the root Greek word usage timē) of paying or gifting what is proper to show adequate homage and value!
In the Kingdom, Jesus honoured his Father by submitting his own Will to the Will of the One who sent him.
He honoured his own mother by submitting to her request to assist her relatives at the wedding when they had run out of wine.
He honoured the requirement to pay the temple taxes (albeit through supernatural provision) imposed by the spiritual leaders of Israel.
He honoured his disciples by washing their feet in humility and servanthood!
Jesus modelled it perfectly. Who is man to try and change it?
Actually the question to ask yourself is this: Who is it that twists the things God has spoken? Who is it that stands to benefit from beguiling and bewitching the Church by adulterating the word of the God?
It doesn’t take a P.hD from a seminary or a certificate of completion from your bible school to answer this. The answer is satan, that dragon of old who deceives the world and comes amongst us disguised as an angel of light!
What is a false culture of honour?
A false culture of honour seeks to promote the gifts (not the Giver) operating in the lives of Believers and the callings (not the One who Calls) distributed within the ecclesiastical order to the point where it becomes objectionable to object!
Simply put the new fangled “culture of honour” teaching brings us to the point where we are no longer permitted to discern, question, clarify, correct, or yes even that dirty word rebuke what we are hearing, seeing, and being proffered when it doesn’t line up with Scripture!
It is false because its objective is to foster an ecclesiastical environment in which anyone and everyone who claims to have a spiritual gift, revelatory insight or personal talent should be embraced and celebrated without being subject to any discernment, testing, scrutiny or another of those swear words – judgement!
Yet the scriptures admonish 1 John 4:1 (ESV) “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.“
The original phrase used is “try the spirits.” This means to exercise spiritual discernment so that we might determine and distinguish between soul and spirit and between dark and Light.
Why are we told to do this? To safeguard the flock from deception through false teachings and practices.
But to exercise discernment will at times entail us having to offer correction (in love) and in some scenarios even rebuke. However this does not sit well with the proponents of the “culture of honour” mandate.
Essentially what this boils down to folks, is a teaching that asks you to embrace so called gifted people amongst us without those same people requiring any accountability for expressing their giftings and anointings.
Case in Point
Let’s take the rise of prophetic art as an example. I’m sure you’ve heard of this. I have nothing against it. I wish I could paint. But as I do not have a flair for it nor a propensity toward it – I paint with words by the brush of my voice instead. But there are great artists amongst us who can express their thoughts through paintings. So far so good?
Now if that artist believes God has spoken to their spirit, then instead of conveying it through words they could convey it through a picture that captures the essence of the thought/s that God spoke to them. You still okay with this?
So essentially prophetic art is still prophecy sans vocalised words! It’s the painting that speaks.
Now if we are called upon to judge all prophecy, then surely it stands to reason that we are to judge prophecy in whatever form it is expressed whether paintings, dance, mime, poetry, writings, song or soliloquy – and by the same standard?
Yes? Then why don’t we see that happening? Because a culture of honour (just love each other and accept everyone’s gift and even the word from the pulpit) is conditioning us not to!
Enthusiasm is not Enough
I am an advocate of discipleship and am called to raise and inspire a generation to embrace the supernatural and the prophetic order . So I am acutely aware that the uber eagerness of many who attend our teaching courses and activation sessions to move in the arena of the supernatural – can also (in their eagerness) display premature expression. It’s just presumptuous enthusiasm.
This does not make the person a false prophet or apostate! It simply means that they have a road ahead of them in which they will undoubtedly fall, miss the mark or “get it wrong”. But in as much as this is guaranteed to occur, the Grace of God is guaranteed to rescue and restore them.
However maturity is the key to good stewardship! And maturity comes through discipleship and instruction. Yet it seems the modern church does not desire to come to spiritual maturity through a process of refinement instead opting for a diet of fast food and drive through spirituality.
Culture of Honour Will Hurt You
As mentioned earlier, I recently read a book promoting and advancing this topic of a “culture of honour”. I read it twice. I was disturbed both times.
The book describes what a culture of honour ought to look like and advances that all churches who don’t have this culture are second rate and have missed the boat!
Let’s see if your church looks like what this book depicts:-
- Titles are super important. Prophetess This. Apostle That.
- The word “prophetic” is used to describe everything that evenly remotely has a sense of connection to the spiritual gift of prophecy or a vague revelatory feel.
- Personal experience is validation enough for Truth and of the same standard as the written Word.
- Encounter! Encounter! Encounter! (often confused for personal experience)
- Teaching the Word of God is not as important as cultivating an environment for congregants and members to express their individualistic spirituality, gifts and callings.
- You’re engaged with the project of “pulling Heaven down to Earth” and everyone should be role player by freely expressing their gifts.
- Sin is okay so long as love prevails therefore we can ignore it because we love one another.
- Freedom to express spiritual gifts – especially prophecy – is more valued than the fear of the Lord. [Just so you know – the fear of the Lord means “to love God above all else”. The book doesn’t state that – I’m teaching you that!]
How did you do? More than 50%?
The Hidden Dangers
What we are getting ourselves into is a culture that rightly embraces the supernatural and rightly desires for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit – but is not given to rightly dividing the Word of God! (2 Timothy 2:15)
I am all for a prophetic church! Heaven knows I’ve been prophesying it since I was called to ministry. I desire that all should prophesy. Let us embrace spiritual things and desire supernatural interventions! Let’s pray for it. Let’s go after it. Let’s contend for it.
But in doing so, let us also cultivate an environment where we are open to spiritual correction and testing. How else does one mature and acquire skills lest a master instruct?
And instruction and correction is exactly what this new culture of honour is calculated to destroy! If we are not allowed to correct and be corrected then we will always be infants. If we are discouraged from testing, discerning and rightly dividing then we are prime candidates for deception.
Eventually a culture of honour will lead us down the path where no one is even allowed to say “Hey! That does not line up with Scripture!” because then you will be labelled as either rebellious to authority or even worse placing more credence on the Scriptures than our church’s affection for the supernatural!
This false culture of honour has very little to do with recognising, perceiving and the subsequent training and development of the gifts and callings within a person and everything to do with a system designed to discard the spirit of accountability and integrity that must be present in any move, revival or visitation of God.
It is designed to set a stage and construct a playing field that is conducive to embracing all manner of doctrine, expression, manifestation and ecclesiastical agenda without the fear of scrutiny. It’s subtle brainwashing and simple (yet crafty) neural programming!
In fact this book advocates just that! Here are some disturbing verbatim excerpts from the book “Culture of Honour” :-
- Next we have teachers. As I mentioned, the teacher is generally accepted as the highest anointing level in the American church. But the truth is that it is not the highest anointing, but only the third level of anointing. It is a “C” in a grade scale, and it is what keeps the Church only average in its effects and influence. Our need and opportunity to upgrade the anointing to an “A” is growing.
- Most teachers today are fixated on the written Word of God. They believe that the Word of God is the source of life and truth on the earth. Their value for the Word is much higher than their need for the supernatural.
- Because the teacher’s focus is on the Word, the anointing of the teacher influences the Church to focus on the Word. Please don’t misunderstand me; I am not trying to devalue Scripture. But I want us to understand how unimportant Heaven has become because of this dreadful error and disorder.
I guess the author (who is a mega church co pastor) missed the part where Jesus said that heaven and earth will pass away but not His words!
Or when the psalmist penned that the Word of God is Eternal and stands forever above the heavens.
Or even 1 Timothy 5:17 “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honour, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching!”
Do you see where this is headed yet? Deception! Do not be fooled dear Saints! Jesus warns against end-time deception (Matt. 24:4, 5, 11, 24). Only God’s Word determines truth! (John 17:17).
When spiritual gifts are in operation and supernatural manifestations abound – be aware that Satan can and will reproduce lying signs to attest to his deceit and counterfeit wonders! (2 Thess 2:9–12)
Our only safety is to know the truth of God’s Word (John 8:32) and we are called to test all things! Something a culture of honour (in the way it is currently positioned) is opposed to!
A little leaven…
Do you know what a little bit of error combined with a lot of truth gives you? Expulsion from the Garden!
Truth and Error cannot mix! God warns us against various forms of mixture — especially a mixture of spirits (Lev. 19:19) Mixture produces confusion and division. All it takes is a little bit of leaven to infest the entire dough!
Often the blanket to cover everything is love. We are definitely taught to respect and love each other. The truth is you can’t claim to love God whom you can’t see when you cant love your brothers and sisters whom you can see! This is scriptural.
But this is actually a misuse and abuse of love. Love cannot remain neutral in the face of evil and error! The fear of the Lord (to love God) is to hate evil! (Prov 8:13)
Defilement through Divination Attracts a Curse
At some point in this flawed and contrived culture being foisted upon the church (which apparently if you don’t practice then your not at the forefront of Heaven’s agenda) we are going to end up with the scenario of greeters at the front door (whose own lives are in shambles), or kids not even baptised in the Holy Ghost, or some random stranger in the foyer who had danced the night away in a local night club hours ago, come up to you and have a “word” for you!
In the name of love and because of a culture of honour you will be forced into smiling and receiving this word because “Hey! That’s the culture!”
The other option is untenable because to reject it implies you are not loving and “honouring” the person who had this dynamic word for you.
But there are far greater issues at play here. If the person bringing you a word is speaking from a source that is not God i.e. soul or worse – dark light, then a spirit of divination is breathing into you! Divination defiles the hearer. A curse is sure to follow you. (Here’s a teaching vid on Defilement of the Soul)
So it’s not okay to “get it wrong and move on” because you could be destroying lives in the process!
It’s not okay to practice with Uno cards and have to suddenly come up with a word for the person on your left! Because most of the time – it will not be God speaking!
How do I know this? Because the gifts of the Spirit operate as the Spirit wills in accordance with the Perfect Will of the Father.
The spirit of the Prophet is subject to the ascension gifted Prophet. This does not apply to the gift of prophecy given to all believers. You cant just whip that out at will on a whim!
Are We Creating Christian Psychics?
This generation (both in and outside the church) is so hungry for the supernatural and an expression of spirituality! Satan – the great deceiver capitalises on this by offering a counterfeit expression empowered by either soul-power or dark light!
We live in a time when many, often unwittingly, “exchange the truth of God for the lie” (Romans 1:25). Scripture foretold of this time:
“For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the very elect”Christ Jesus (Mark 13:22)
The demand for a “word” has given an increase to those who are willing to supply it lubricated by a culture of honour that results in gift of prophecy bearing parity with psychic fortune telling!
We are falling right into the trap of the enemy to erode us from within. Many churches are so enamoured by the prophetic that they will accept anything in the name of love and the culture of honour. They exchange the authentic for a mere illusion!
By the way we aren’t told to hunger after the supernatural and encounters. We’re instructed to hunger and thirst for something far more important. It is an instruction that carries a great promise!
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.Christ Jesus (Matthew 5:6)
Is There A Way Forward?
Respect and make room!
Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.Philippians 2:3
Esteem is not the same as honour! It is about respect and appreciation.
I respect the gift in you that is making room for you and I appreciate (recognise the worth) your role and function in the Body of the Lord.
I am fully convinced that there is an authentic manifestation of supra-naturality and spiritual expression of our gifts and callings that the Holy Spirit alone will conduct and bring us into maturity thereto.
It is the will of God that men and women, young and old, irrespective of age, race, or seminary degree begin to flow in power and demonstration to the level that Jesus did.
Desire Spiritual Maturity
But in order for us to get to that level of spiritual maturity, we have to learn to submit ourselves to the inerrant Word of God and spiritual reprove and correction and not get offended by it! Learn to embrace it.
You don’t need perfect theology for God to work signs and wonders through you or allow you to prophesy the future. What you need, what we need, is humility, a teachable spirit, a diligence for truth and a hunger for righteousness.
Without being properly schooled, or mastered, or discipled in the prophetic arts or spiritual gifts; without being rooted in the logos and grounded by love – we open ourselves up to every deception of the enemy. And there’s the solution right there – Mentorship.
Cut it anyway you like – God doesn’t hand you the keys to the Ferrari when you haven’t even yet taken the training wheels off the dirt bike.
Love you all!